Seven days to go until Thanksgiving, eight to Black Friday, eleven to Cyber Monday. With so much time still left for the world to prepare for the official kick-off of the holiday season, I hope it’s loud and clear our early Black Friday deal roundups so far were just to warm y’all up.
Based mostly on leaked ads, but also on bits and pieces of official information, we gave you some quick pointers as to what about a dozen nationwide retailers will have in store for Android fanatics. Cheap, low-end handhelds, pricey, top-shelf smartphones and tablets ranging from 50 to 500 bucks.
They’ll all get heavily discounted come next Thursday, courtesy of bigger or smaller chains like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, RadioShack, Sears, Kmart, GameStop and Office Depot. Each and every one of these, plus the ones that we’ll add today in the mix, will put their unique touch on the so-called holiday shopping season, offering massive savings either online, offline or both, for limited periods of time and as long as inventory lasts.
It’s a whole complicated, headache-inducing thing… if you undertake the Black Friday adventure on your own. But if you’re smart, you’re going to less us do the heavy lifting and guide you through the maze of promotions. Today, the spotlight is on Samsung, Sprint, Staples, TigerDirect, Toys R Us, Shopko and Dollar General. Let the discount games begin:
Samsung Black Friday Android deals
They don’t call Samsung the Android king for nothing and it’s not by chance the Koreans dominate this uber-competitive landscape. And we have the proof right here, as Sammy will not only hold promos on hundreds of electronic devices, but make a week out of Black Friday.
Some of the deals will debut as early as November 24, most of them will be valid between the 28th and December 2 and, best of all, you’ll be able to pre-order a chunk of the discounted products starting November 20 provided you make a bit of an effort and sign up through Samsung.com.
On the not so bright side, I’m afraid it’s exactly the promo’s stars that remain wrapped in mystery, with Samsung phones and tabs covering three pages of the company’s Black Friday ad, but missing price tags. Oh, well, at least we know they’ll be up for grabs on the cheap.
- Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 smartphones – prices coming soon
- Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, Tab 3 7.0, Note 10.1 – unknown prices
- Galaxy Camera with Wi-Fi – $399.99 (available for the same price right now via retailers like Amazon)
The only wireless service provider to fully spill the holiday beans as of now is the third largest in the country. But when it comes to BF savings, the Now Network may well steal both Verizon and AT&T’s thunder. And T-Mobile’s, for that matter, keeping Magenta at bay despite their recent rebranding and focus reshift. Here’s how:
Black Friday studs:
- Samsung Galaxy S4 – free with two-year contracts (valid Thursday through Monday)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – $49.99 with 24-month pacts (already live)
- Galaxy S4 mini – no charge with contracts
- $100 savings on any phone when switching to Sprint
When a retailer needs two different catalogues to detail its holiday deals, you can tell right away they’ve gone the extra mile to bring a smile on people’s faces around Turkey Day. On the one hand, there’s the “classic” BF flyer, starring promos valid Thanksgiving Day starting at 8 pm and Friday from 6 am onwards.
And then there’s a special “inventory” of so-called doorbusters, which will debut early, on November 24, and last throughout the week. The only catch being the products on sale will change fast and furious and most of them won’t last for more than a few hours.
- Samsung Galaxy S4 – $0.01 with AT&T or Verizon contracts
- Amazon Kindle Fire 7 – $79
- HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 – $179.99 (technically not running Android, but Chrome OS, so still a Google-made concoction)
- Acer Iconia A1 7.9-inch tablet – $99.99
- Asus MeMo Pad 10 Me102A – $179.99
- Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 – $139
- Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – $169
- Kindle Fire HDX 7 – $229
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. All’s well that ends well. Or in this case, all’s well that begins well.
Though the actual promos here are not too bad all in all (they’re not great, mind you), the biggest fault I can find with TigerDirect’s Black Friday 2013 offer is it’s not going to fly online. And there are only 35 or so retail locations across the US of A. Bummer.
Also a bit restrictive is the timetable, as you’ll have but five hours to take advantage of the whopping savings offered. Specifically, between 5 am and 10 am next Friday morning. But, but, but, what about my beauty sleep, Tiger?
Best Android deals:
- Sprint or AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 – free (oldie but goldie)
- No-contract ZTE Avail 2 – $44.99
- Outright Samsung Galaxy Note – $290 (even oldier yet still fairly goldie)
- Unlocked Galaxy S3 – $420
- Sony SmartWatch 2 – $200 plus $50 gift card
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – $159.99
- Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 – $299.99
- 13.3-inch Hanspree slate – $200 (if you like’em big)
Not worth it:
- AT&T LG G2 – $70 (much cheaper elsewhere)
- Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – $80 (expected free of charge via other retailers)
- Sprint Galaxy S4 – $80 (likewise)
- Galaxy Note 10.1 first-gen – $400
- Refurbished Lenovo A2109 tablet – $150 (all I want for Black Friday is not a refurb tab)
Toys R Us
A toy store is not usually the go-to place for Android purchases, but in this day and age it’s not enough anymore to send our kids to school and then play in the back yard with wooden little “weapons” and whatnot.
We can also help mold and educate them through gadgets, as well as inoculate the idea that learning can be fun. And there’s nothing more entertaining, for both the little ones and their parents, than scoring a kid-friendly Android slate on the cheap from Toys R Us either Thanksgiving night or all day Black Friday.
Totally worth it:
- 7-inch Polaroid tab – $69.99
- 8-inch Polaroid – $79.99
- Leapfrog LeapPad 2 Explorer – $39.99
- Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – $179.99 plus $20 gift card
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Kids – $189.99 plus $20 gift card
- Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 – $160, $250 and $300 respectively plus $20 gift cards
- Refurbished Arnova 7- $39.99
Hate, hate, hate the Thanksgiving and BF crowds and have an itch you need to scratch a little earlier? Fret not, as Shopko has your backs, with the festivities underway Wednesday November 27 online and then extended in brick and mortar stores Thursday night with an expiration date set for Friday noon. Such a shame Shopko is so thrifty when it comes to actually slashing prices of devices people crave for.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – $170
- Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – $190
- Polaroid dual-core 7-incher – $80 (your kiddies may not be bothered by Polaroid’s shady name in the business, but trust me, you will)
- Polaroid 10-incher – $130
Keeping things modest seems to be the motto of this booming chain of variety stores, with over 10,000 locations nowadays spread around the US, as their Black Friday ad this year totals a measly 4 pages. 4 lousy pages that still put a decent emphasis on a couple of dirt-cheap Android handhelds.
- No-contract Huawei Inspira – $25
- Outright Verizon LG Optimus Zone – $25
- Prepaid Tracfone LG840G – $20
And that’s a wrap, but just for now, as a part four and possibly part five are coming in time for you to get your ducks in a row before the sun sets next Thansgiving. Remember, there are still plenty of retailers to come forward with their special offers, with Amazon, Newegg, AT&T and eBay being just the first few that come to mind. Stay tuned and shop responsibly.